Monday, January 28, 2013


It felt so good to get out with the camera and hunt down something to photograph. I am absolutely reveling in being pain-free after more than a week of dreading every movement. I feel kind of invincible at the moment, even though I'm mired deep in the push to get all of the 2012 reporting done for work by the end of the month. It will get done, even if I have to stay up half the night to do it.

So it is fitting that today's photo prompt was 'Through'. I'm through with the pain, almost through my busiest month, maybe even kind of through the weirdness of my emotions and doubts over the past number of months. And that's a good thing. Even a major fog today couldn't dampen my spirits much. It would be nice to see the sun, but I was rather pleased with my foggy pictures.

Monday, January 21, 2013

What I do.

The challenge today is to take a picture of what we do. I've already taken a picture of my computer, I'm not sure there is much else that one can do with that. And I've taken a picture of food, so that pretty much covers the whole 'I feed my family' thing that takes up such a large chunk of time.

How does a mom sum up the span of what she does?

This is it. THIS is my master list, my 'I could not survive without this' planner. This is what I (theoretically) do when I am not working.

I need lists. I need lists like some people need air. I need air too, so I guess that means I need air AND lists. Oh, I tried other plans for getting my house cleaned and organized and they did not work. Somewhere there is an unused email account filling up with thousands of emails from FlyLady. Even on the 'please don't inundate me with 50 emails a week' plan I STILL spent half my time trying to read emails and tips from her and nothing ended up getting cleaned anyway.

But this, this is awesome. I found it last year, and for about fifteen dollars for the download and getting it bound it was well worth it. At least, it was worth it for the four months I kept up with it, faithfully checking off tasks each day. After that, when my brain fell apart and I couldn't seem to get anything done even with a list staring me in the face it was more of a taunting 'see what you SHOULD be doing and aren't?'

Still, I'm back at it this year. I printed it out and had it bound last week, but haven't checked anything off yet because 'sit in your chair and whine about how much pain you are in' was not on the list. (I totally would have rocked that task, though.) I'm going to start small, aiming for just getting ANYTHING checked off during the week. And I will consider that an accomplishment.

Because this is what I do.

Something I saw.

So I've missed a few days of the photo challenge. That happens when you mess up your back and pretty much the only thing that makes it happy is sitting on a chair and not moving. I tried the whole 'get up and keep moving' thing, but that is more easily said than done when you are so crazily out of whack that movement means you are thrusting more things out of line to compensate.

But, by Sunday evening things were looking a little better, and we enjoyed a game of Castle Panic as a family.

This is what I saw.

The boys are finally getting to the stage where we can play games with them that are actually fun for people over the age of 6. (I'm looking at you, Mousetrap.) We're still working on the whole thing of 'do not jump around and shake the table or throw the dice half-way across the room', but I'm assuming that will come with age. In the meantime, we've solved the 'But I NEVER win' complaining by getting some cooperative games like Castle Panic. It also makes it easier in the learning stages because we can discuss strategy with them and help them to plot out the best course of action. Teaching logic is always a win in my book.

And that's what I saw on my Sunday evening.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Today's prompt is 'Water'. Fitting, I suppose, since it has been rainy and foggy all day; definitely NOT normal for South Dakota in January.

I'm actually super happy with this shot of our downspout. I was doubtful I'd get a good picture since I was out running around all day and then when I got home the neighbors were in and out of their house loading stuff into a car and I really didn't want them wondering why I was crouched by my downspout with a camera.

Also, I found the setting on my camera that I've spent the last two days searching for. It's the little things that make me happy.

Not so happy? The fact that we're going from a high of 36 today back down to more normal January temperatures of 12 tomorrow. Which also means all of this water is going to freeze. I plan on going absolutely nowhere. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

One o'clock.

I am just utterly BRIMMING with excitement for the photo challenge today!

OK, not so much. Today's challenge was to take a photo of what we were doing sometime between one and two o'clock.

This is it, folks. This is what I am doing every single day between one and two.

Exciting, no? Working from home is not the most glamorous of lives. I do, however, have a Curious George notepad, so I guess there's that.

(Also, I have no idea why this isn't only looks like this in Blogger.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

'T' is for...

Today's photo challenge prompt was to take a picture of something that begins with the letter 'T'. Have you ever noticed that when you need something to begin with a certain letter, nothing does? Maybe it's just me, but my house seemed suddenly devoid of the letter 'T'.

I thought about photographing the tortilla soup I was planning to make for supper, but I knew the light would be gone by the time it was ready. That did, however, remind me that I forgot to pick up Tortilla chips at the grocery store. So I guess it wasn't a wasted thought.

A tree? I've got to say, it would be hard to make our spindly, bare trees look good right now. Maybe an artsy shot taken by lying on the ground underneath one. But it is cold and there is snow on the ground and I didn't want the neighbors to think I'm crazy.

Towels? Some things do not need to be documented. The mess in the boys' bathroom is one of them. My dirty laundry pile is another.

Tired? I had a very tired boy whom I had to shake and nudge for over a minute this morning before he woke up and growled at me. It probably wasn't the best time to take a picture of him.

Taxes...I am fairly certain that no one wants to see a picture of a blank tax form unless they are looking up tax information on the IRS website.

Trebuchet? I don't have one of those handy at the moment.

Tomato soup would have been perfect, had I thought of this before eating my lunch. I suppose I could always go for the more existential theme of 'Tomato soup, all gone.' But, as with the towels, I'm not quite ready to stoop to taking pictures of my dirty dishes either.

In the end I decided that T is for...

Testy. ("Can THIS be the last picture? Are you done YET? Come ON!")
Also, Terrible lighting. (Thus the playing with Picasa editing.)

Sunday, January 6, 2013


This is mine.
My place,
my space.
in the pages,
I wander.
my domain.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


It's South Dakota. It's winter. It's cold and gray both outside and in. This means that just about the only thing moving today is the snow. Have you ever tried to take a picture of moving snow? NOT easy.

My day feels like the emotional equivalent of standing in the middle of a snowstorm and trying to take a picture of the snow. Can't pin it down, can't make it clear. Sometimes life is like that and the computer-brained part of me REALLY hates that.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The view from here.

The view from here
is cold
and sharp.
The ice numbs,
a spear
of clarity.
Waiting to be banished
by the sun.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


It is entirely possible that my brain exploded when I tried to read the manual for my camera. At least, that is the excuse I'm giving for not posting yesterday's picture. I have also had a raging headache ever since as proof of the explosion. (That might also be the result of trying to do payroll and listen to the soundtrack of Les Misérables at the same time. Surprisingly not a good idea.)

I was a bit stumped about what to capture for today's challenge of Heart...and then I remembered something I've been saving for a blog post for quite some time, one of those little serendipitous finds that makes me smile whenever I look at it.

A heart in a stone, found in our rock landscaping. (And by landscaping I mean 'pathetic rock beds around some scraggly bushes.) And it is so, so fitting because I've been thinking about what I would pick as my one word for 2013 and the word that keeps pushing to the top of my mind is love.

We were challenged in church to think about what to take on as we go into the new year and for me it all comes down to love.

Loving my family. Extending grace to them.

Loving myself. Leaving behind the thousands of lies that keep me from experiencing the complete fullness of love.

Loving my neighbor...friend and stranger, near and far.

Loving God.  Not in some abstract 'go to church and sing a few songs about him' way, but really and truly grasping what it means to love him and to BE loved by him.

I know it seems like such a ridiculously simple thing to some people, but I'm not sure I could have picked a more difficult word.

But if the patience of time can wear a heart into stone, I am confident that love can seep into the corners of a heart that feels sometimes like its own little stone.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


What's blog etiquette for saying "Hey, I'm back yet again? After yet another extended absence?" Whatever, consider it said.

I'm using this blog as space for my latest undertaking, the pursuit of a better picture. Or at least figuring out what all of those settings on my camera mean. If I come up with words to go with that, it's a bonus. As a kick start, I'm taking part in the 2013 Photo A Day Challenge hosted by Fat Mum Slim. One photo each day, based on the prompt. I thought that posting them on my blog would be a good way to motivate myself to actually keep up with it.

It's not going to be fancy. It's not going to compare with the wonderful pictures taken by my more creatively minded friends. My words aren't going to be beautiful, or buzz-worthy, they are just going to be me. Simply me. That's all I have to offer and I hope that by the end of 2013 maybe along with taking better pictures I'll have learned to be okay with that.

This is my offering for today. Just the simple, the bread and the soup and the sparkling juice pretending to be wine.